Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games Opening Ceremony Celebrate Heritage, Sustainability and the Athletes
The rich heritage and pageantry of amateur sports were on full display during the Opening Ceremony of the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games on the iconic “Miracle on Ice” rink made famous during the 1980 winter Olympics.
Governor Kathy Hochul officially opened the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games welcoming 1,443 student-athletes from more than 540 universities and 46 countries and regions gathered to celebrate the biennial multi-winter sports event.
The ceremony included greetings from the Oneida Indian Nation and Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, elegant on-ice performances, athletes’ and officials’ oaths, and the lighting of a one-of-a-kind flameless cauldron.
The Jan. 12-22 Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games will feature competition in 12 winter sports and 85 events in venues throughout New York State's north country region, including Lake Placid, Wilmington, Saranac Lake, Potsdam, Canton and North Creek.
James B. McKenna, chairman of the Adirondack Sports Council, the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games’ Organizing Committee, told the assembled athletes, “We hope that these Games fill you with the joy of sport and competition as you prepare to assume your role as the next generation of global leaders. You have the passion, commitment and skills to elevate Save Winter to the forefront of global climate initiatives.”
Leonz Eder, FISU acting president, added his warm welcome to athletes, officials and spectators. He said: “After the harsh years of the global pandemic, we finally meet again here in Lake Placid. The world’s young people suffered hard on behalf of the greater good and the global population. To see so many of them gathered here today is a particularly emotional moment, which should make these World University Games a truly festive occasion, especially after the cancellation of Lucerne 2021.”
The two-hour Opening Ceremony was studded with performances by Joffrey Ballet School students, the American Ice Theatre, and professional skater Angela Kim and aerialist Pawel Walczewski.
The athletes’ oath was led by figure skater Ting Cui, a Maryland native and student at Vermont’s Middlebury College, and the officials’ oath was performed by Tim Burke, a four-time Olympic biathlete who calls Lake Placid home.
The Village of Lake Placid was selected by FISU in March 2018 to be the host city. The selection adds to a sports history that includes two Winter Olympics, the 1972 FISU World University Games, the 2000 Goodwill Games and numerous World Cup and World Championship events.
The 2023 FISU World University Games will conclude on the evening of Jan. 22 with a Closing Ceremony and the extinguishing of the cauldron, after the men’s gold medal hockey game in the Herb Brooks Arena.
Image source: FISU
Edited by Wu Cuiyao